SEBRING SCHOOLS In event of strike, classes to go on

The superintendent urged parents with concerns to call him or building principals.
SEBRING -- If Sebring teachers strike Wednesday, classes will remain in session with qualified substitutes and the district's attendance policy will be in effect.
Superintendent Howard Friend sent letters to parents Thursday, outlining the district's procedures and policy in the event of a strike.
What will continue: He said buses will run, breakfast and lunch programs will be offered and classes will continue at all grade levels.
Extracurricular activities scheduled for Wednesday or the remaining days of a strike would be canceled, he said.
Although parents packed Wednesday's school board meeting, officials declined to comment on the possible strike.
"There were a lot of questions, but we said we would not debate this issue at that meeting," Friend said.
How it's being handled: He said administrators are dealing with questions through letters and press releases. He said any parents with concerns or a specific question should call him or building principals.
"We hope for a fair and speedy resolution of this matter," Friend said in the letter to parents. "In the event of a strike, we will do our best to make sure your children still benefit from a quality education."
Friend said the district has hired a security company "to assure a safe environment for students and staff." He said security personnel will be on school property in the event of a strike to help identify any problems that need to be addressed.
He told parents that any closing of school buildings would be broadcast on local radio and television stations using the same network as is used to announce closings because of inclement weather or other problems.
He declined to comment on the types of situations in which buildings would close because of the strike.
Negotiations between the 59-member SLEA and the school board began in May. Impasse was declared in July, and the contract expired Aug. 31.
The teachers union voted Dec. 4 to authorize its negotiations team to issue a strike notice to the school board.

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